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Drought Conditions Help Soybean Harvest

October 2, 2011, 10:01 PM by Hailey Higgins

Drought Conditions Help Soybean Harvest
TURNER COUNTY, SD - Harvest season is underway despite parts of KELOLAND experiencing moderate drought conditions. But the dry weather is making things easy for soybean farmers.

Last month was the driest September on record since 1900.  But these farmers don't have much to complain about Sunday.

"Actually, this is perfect harvest weather, it really is," South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones said.

Bones is harvesting acres of soybeans just west of Tea. He says soybean yields will likely be profitable this year, despite the extremely dry conditions.

Brad Smidt grows soybeans near Lennox and says the weather is a blessing.

"Dry conditions for soybean harvest are excellent. We could have probably used another rain at the end of the growing season, but we didn't get it.  So, we are going to take what the good Lord gave us and that's what we got," Smidt said.

Smidt says combines are using less fuel because of the dry soil and the machines are working more efficiently during the harvest. This year is actually a nice relief for farmers after several wet autumn seasons where they've had to take extra steps to dry the beans.

"If it was too wet, then we'd have to put it in a storage bin and put artificial heat on it. Propane costs are high.  So, we'll just have Mother Nature do it and it's a whole lot easier," Bones said.

And while the dry conditions vary across KELOLAND, farmers in Turner County couldn't ask for anything better.

"Right now, life is good. The crops are looking good," Bones said.

And with dry weather on the horizon for the next couple of days, things should stay that way. 

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